Yet once she became empress, she took the more respectable name of, and guarded the respectability of her office jealously. Further evidence that her strong hand guided Justinian through many of his travails is found in the art surviving from the day where she is depicted standing close by but not next to him, implying that she is his companion in both marriage and power. But the letter gives a glimpse of the double-pronged diplomacy of Justinian and Theodora, which proceeded on two levels, the official level of the emperor and the covert, slightly underhand level of the empress. We get another brief glimpse of Theodora exercising ruthless power in the Book of the Popes Liber Pontificalis , a series of brief papal biographies from Saint Peter to the late ninth century. Monks and nuns were driven from their monasteries and some had to spend their nights like wild beasts wandering on the hillsides, enduring snow and winter rains in the winter. Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora work together to rebuild the infrastructure of Constantinople including twenty-five churches. Theodora was jealous of his influence and with the help of her friends, particularly her crony, Antonina, the wife of Belisarius, she set a trap for him and he fell into it.
She created a secret police force and killed many enemies, including three of her own children. Malicious gossip is a weapon of the disempowered, and to the social strata to which Procopius either belonged or wanted to belong, Theodora represented the threat of social revolution. She created a convent on the side of the called the Metanoia Repentance , where the ex-prostitutes could support themselves. Events were moving rapidly in Italy: Belisarius, leading an imperial invasion force, was advancing from the south, Naples fell, and the Ostrogoths, disgusted with Theodahad's flaccid leadership, deposed him and replaced him with Witigis. Justinian championed the cause of Christian orthodoxy, while at the same time he allowed Theodora to pursue the objective of religious tolerance for the Monophysite heretics with whom she identified. History of the Wars, Secret History, and Buildings. She also gave her mother's relatives powerful positions in government.
Unable to control the protesters, Justinian decided to run away but Theodora spoke against fleeing at a meeting. She even outmaneuvered her husband in converting the inhabitants of Nobatae south of Egypt to Monophysite Christianity. He spent no time in Ephesus. He was sacrificed to the mob during the 'Nika' revolt but he was soon back at his former post as praetorian prefect. Following the Nika Revolt, Theodora and Justinian set about rebuilding Constantinople.
Theodora may have known that Anthimus was not unsympathetic to Monophysite views but, if so, she kept her information secret. The label 'Monophysite' was not a contemporary one: the 'Monophysites, in their own literature, always referred to themselves as 'orthodox', whereas the distinguishing badge of the Chalcedonians who also considered themselves orthodox was the 'Tome' of Leo. It was said that her reputation was such that respectable people tried to avoid meeting her on the streets of Constantinople for fear of becoming contaminated. With Theodora's blessing, Theodosius, who from his refuge in the Hormisdas Palace was now recognized as the spiritual leader of the Monophysites, ordained two monks as nomadic bishops. Behind the Emperor Justinian, however, was an equally powerful woman, the Empress Theodora. Either way, though, it is a very fascinating read, and it helps non-historian readers understand a little more about this infamous empress.
Actresses supplemented their wages as courtesans, or prostitutes, to the wealthy of the city and it was not uncommon for a young actress to have many unwanted pregnancies and estranged children. From that crucial triumph, French morale began to build and victory upon victory ensued. It has been claimed, however, that she was a Mongol Princess. Such was the case with Justinian I and his wife, Empress Theodora. But the reference corroborates at least some of the malicious gossip that the Secret History reports.
Yet Theodora never shared her husband's reputation for being easy-going. The focus of the panegyric is Justinian and his care for his subjects. On the one hand, how awesome to have a biography of a woman who was so influential in her time and who has continued to be so, intermittently, in art and so on for the last 1500 years! Portrait in a Byzantine Landscape. For Theodora, this represented an escape from her profession, for a law of 409 Cod. Unfortunately we are not always certain what those sources were.
On August 1, 527, Justin I died. She and her two sisters grew up in the lowest reaches of society among the actors, actresses, animal keepers and other performers at the Hippodrome , a large arena for racing and other types of entertainment. Theodora is quite a character, and, though this is mostly a work of non-fiction, it's just as, if not more, interesting that a lot of fictional novels out there. She did not forget her erstwhile associates but there was no question of her returning to her former life. Justinian and the Later Roman Empire.
Theodora had two sisters, Comitona and Anastasia. She then became an actress, and later catches the eye of Justinian, who at the time was heir to the Byzantine Empire. A historical novel, about Theodora's years as empress. Architectural legacy Following the suppression of the revolt, the Emperor and Empress rebuilt , making it one of the most elegant cities in the world at the time. Theodora, in any event, was dead by the time On the Buildings was composed, and we learn nothing of her role as builder from it, though there is a flattering reference to her beauty. Abandoned and maltreated by Hecebolus Anek.